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Thread: Townace started blowing white smoke

  1. #1
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    Townace started blowing white smoke

    My townace started blowing white smoke. I don't really see much or any when idling, but any acceleration produces a nice lingering cloud, even when parked and just revving the engine. Slightly worse under load.

    I had it out in the hills camping for the weekend. Wasn't driving it particularly hard but a few long steep grades that weekend. Didn't notice anything till the day after I returned. Maybe stressed out climbing and something died?

    My gut says head gasket but wondering if anyone has suggestions on where to start diagnosing?

    I don't see any leaking anywhere. The oil doesn't look milky, or the coolant.

    Could a bad turbo or something else cause this? I feel like if hear some sorta dying cat sound of the turbo was going?

    89 townace 4x4, 2CT.

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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    White smoke means that the diesel fuel is not burning correctly due to a lack of heat in the combustion chamber. This unburnt diesel contains minor toxins that may sting your eyes. This problem may be caused by: ... Water or petrol contamination of the diesel fuel.
    -google

    Im guessing rings, can you check for compression?
    Did it ever run hot while you were driving?

    Sorry to hear btw.
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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    Quote Originally Posted by Andywear View Post
    White smoke means that the diesel fuel is not burning correctly due to a lack of heat in the combustion chamber. This unburnt diesel contains minor toxins that may sting your eyes. This problem may be caused by: ... Water or petrol contamination of the diesel fuel.
    -google

    Im guessing rings, can you check for compression?
    Did it ever run hot while you were driving?

    Sorry to hear btw.
    It wasn't running hot. I've never seen it really get past that mid-point on the gauge. Maybe about a year ago it kept running kinda cold, replaced the stuck thermostat and its been pretty good since.

    The only recent change was this little rubber o-ring on the bottom of the fuel-filter / water-separator. The little screw part with the hose on it that you unscrew when the "too much water in the water-separator" light comes on. It had been dripping a little bit of fuel cause the little o-ring was going bad. Quit dripping though. When I first saw the smoke while driving, I thought maybe that thing was leaking and dripping onto the exhaust or something. Its definitely all coming out of the tail-pipe though.

    I'll have to get a gauge to check the compression, figured that might be the first step.

    Sucks when stuff breaks, but its an old car so... hopefully its just the gasket and not a cracked block or head or something ugly.

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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    well that Google answer does say about having water in the fuel, When is the last time you switched out the Fuel Filter?

    I just did mine last month.
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    I wasn't having any white smoke, just wanted to get a new filter.
    I was a member for 2 years before I bought my van.
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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    Was the fuel tank refilled after the trip but before the smoke started possibly introducing water or other contamination with the "fresh" fuel?

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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    I replaced the filter about a year ago. If there was any water trapped in that filter I'm pretty sure it was drained out when I changed that little 0-ring,
    (most of the fuel in the filter drained out the bottom).

    I wonder if its clogged somehow though, and if that would cause all the white smoke?

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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    Quote Originally Posted by originalkwyjibo View Post
    Was the fuel tank refilled after the trip but before the smoke started possibly introducing water or other contamination with the "fresh" fuel?

    I drove 9/10 of the way to our campsite, filled up, then it sat there for a few days till I drove about 100 miles home. The next day, first time after driving it again is when I first noticed the smoke. It seemed like a little at first, like it was only smoking a little after I idled at a red light, then when I accelerated I'd notice some.

    That next drive after the trip was only about 3 miles round trip, by the time I hit the half-way point it was smoking a lot more.

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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    Does anyone know if I need an adapter for a compression gauge on the 2CT? The service manual calls out a special tool number. Or if I buy a generic kit at the auto store, will one of the adapters most likely be the right thread size?

    Any recommendation on which gauge to buy or not buy?

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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCrippler View Post
    Does anyone know if I need an adapter for a compression gauge on the 2CT? The service manual calls out a special tool number. Or if I buy a generic kit at the auto store, will one of the adapters most likely be the right thread size?

    Any recommendation on which gauge to buy or not buy?
    Harbor Freight carries a 20 piece diesel compression test kit that would likely work just fine. Cost is around $30.

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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    Quote Originally Posted by bikeregg View Post
    Harbor Freight carries a 20 piece diesel compression test kit that would likely work just fine. Cost is around $30.
    I'll start there, thanks.

    Any other tips/tricks for diagnosing? Will a cracked head show the same symptoms as a bad gasket?

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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCrippler View Post
    I'll start there, thanks.

    Any other tips/tricks for diagnosing? Will a cracked head show the same symptoms as a bad gasket?

    Probably, I don't recall you mentioning the engine overheating.

    - check for unexplained coolant leaks/coolant in the crankcase - milky engine oil is a sure sign of internal head gasket leaks
    - if the compression check is ok, check for fuel system problems - I'm going through a similar issue where I would need to prime the fuel filter each morning, when the van would start white smoke would be present but quickly dissipate. I suspect my fuel pump isn't working (not to be confused with the injection pump), I just haven't gotten into the fuel tank to check it out yet.
    - if the compression check is not good, pull the valve cover and check the valves for clearance and proper operation.
    - look for indications of coolant/fuel/oil/exhaust leaking around the head (wet spots, oily spots that aren't explained by a leaky valve cover, sooty spots, etc)

    Has the timing belt ever been changed? As the timing belt wears, it stretches and can affect engine and injection timing. Timing belt should be changed every 90,000 kilometers (double check the manual for the mileage)
    Does the white smoke clear up after starting the engine or does it occur all the time?

    You'll want to try and exhaust all possibilities before pulling the head to check for problems, I'm sure you know, it is a major undertaking.

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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    Quote Originally Posted by bikeregg View Post
    Probably, I don't recall you mentioning the engine overheating.

    - check for unexplained coolant leaks/coolant in the crankcase - milky engine oil is a sure sign of internal head gasket leaks
    - if the compression check is ok, check for fuel system problems - I'm going through a similar issue where I would need to prime the fuel filter each morning, when the van would start white smoke would be present but quickly dissipate. I suspect my fuel pump isn't working (not to be confused with the injection pump), I just haven't gotten into the fuel tank to check it out yet.
    - if the compression check is not good, pull the valve cover and check the valves for clearance and proper operation.
    - look for indications of coolant/fuel/oil/exhaust leaking around the head (wet spots, oily spots that aren't explained by a leaky valve cover, sooty spots, etc)

    Has the timing belt ever been changed? As the timing belt wears, it stretches and can affect engine and injection timing. Timing belt should be changed every 90,000 kilometers (double check the manual for the mileage)
    Does the white smoke clear up after starting the engine or does it occur all the time?

    You'll want to try and exhaust all possibilities before pulling the head to check for problems, I'm sure you know, it is a major undertaking.
    It's never overheated on me. The engine has never leaked a drop of oil either, it's completely bone dry on the outside. Could be leaking now though and i just didnt spot it. Nothing on the ground. I looked around with a flashlight briefly when it first started smoking. Looked fine but it's hard to see the turbo side of the motor. I need to take a better look when I get some more free time. I pulled the dip stick and the oil didn't look milky. I do notice that the dip stick is popped up a little after a drive and i get a sooty mark where roflroflroflrofl blows up out the hole. Not all crazy and oily everywhere, more like a sooty spot.

    The timing belt has never been changed, it just hit 90k and it's been on my mind to do the belt anyway. I can't remember the exact mileage Toyota suggests, 90 or 100k. I think. Either way it's 90k km on an old rubber belt from 1989. It's probably time.

    The white smoke is barely visible if at all when i start it, but it really smokes if i give it any throttle.

    Fwiw, a while back i kept having to prime my fuel filter in the morning. It was the little o-ring on the drain valve of the fuel filter. It'd slowly drip diesel at night. Not much, but enough to get air in the system and make it run rough for a while each morning.

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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    Have you checked the turbo? It kinda sounds like a turbo seal to me. You could pull off the intake piping a check for oil residue.

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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    Have you checked the turbo? It kinda sounds like a turbo seal to me. You could pull off the intake piping a check for oil residue.
    Haven't checked that either. In the past I did notice a little oil in there but I thought it was mostly coming from the hose that goes between the valve-cover and intake. I installed an oil catch in between there to try and keep the intake from getting too nasty over time. The catch-can was actually the first thing I checked. I thought maybe the catch was full and the intake was just sucking in oil. It seemed fine though. I'm guessing I'd have black oily smoke in that case though?

    But if the turbo was dead and it wasn't getting any air, that makes more sense to me. Too much fuel and not enough air and worse under more throttle, that sorta fits the symptoms.

    If the turbo seals were bad would there be a lot of oil?

    I guess I could drive it a little again and see if the turbo is doing anything. I never heard any nasty noise from it in the past. Maybe it just suddenly died and froze in place?

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    Re: Townace started blowing white smoke

    If oil was leaking past the turbo seals there is a good change the turbo would still be functioning OK, but when oil pressure builds (when the rpm's go up) oil would be getting pushed past the seals either into the intake or exhaust causing blueish white smoke. It would get worse as the engine warms up because the oil will be thinner, making it easier to get past the seal.

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